Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) president Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman is no angel when it comes to stiring up racial issues, for he proclaims loudly that he believes in the superiority of Malays in the country.
That aside, he had to pay the price when he was charged under the Sedition Act – although his opponents disagreed that even he should have been charged under the Sedition Act.
The definition of “seditious” is very wide under the Act – for one cannot really put a finger on what is and what is not ‘seditious’ – yet, Abdullah Zaik said something and he was charged under the Sedition Act.
Today, the Sessions Court found him guilty for having published an article entitled “The coming of the Chinese with the British colonialists a form of intrusion” on the Isma website two years ago.
It talked of Chinese then working together with the British to colonise the country.
The Star reported that the same court in May had acquitted him over his principal sedition charge of uttering seditious words, but ordered him to defend himself on an alternative charge under Section 4 (1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948.
Should he fail to pay the fine, he would have to serve two years in prison.
The niggling query here is why is Abdullah Zaik getting a fine RM2,000 – which allows him to narrowly escape the barring in standing for election – when the others before him who have also uttered “seditious remarks” were all fined the maximum RM5,000?
Cases in point: Amanah youth leader Mohd Fakhrulrazi Mohd Mokhtar (August 25, 2016); former student leader Adam Adli Abdul Halim (February 2016); Hishamuddin Rais (January 2016) and in 2001, former PKR leader Marina Yusoff.
These four – all opposition supporters – received a fine of RM5,000.
The late Jelutong MP Karpal Singh too was convicted of sedition and fined RM4,000 but much later, the Court of Appeal lowered the fine to RM1,800, but two years after his demise.
Under the constitution, anyone convicted of an offence in Malaysia and sentenced to a jail term of not less than one year, or a fine of not less than RM2,000 cannot stand for election.
Thus, Abdullah Zaik, despite having been convicted of “being seditious” can still stand for election, whereas the others – besides the late Karpal of course – cannot.
One is not insinuating anything here with regards to justice dispensed, but one is questioning if people like Abdullah Zaik, who is a proud extremist, should even be allowed to stand for election with such racist views – just curious, that is all.